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Provide a fantastic, impossible service  

Jason Cohen makes the point that it's better to provide a fantastic, mind-capturing service that might run at a loss than a merely good service that runs more efficiently.

Of course, the point is appealing. Do something amazing, better than what others think is possible, and figure out the financial details later. This probably works in some contexts, though I'm not sure that Zappos is the best example, since Tony Hsieh managed the company very efficiently, as far as I can tell. It's arguable that it's extreme focus on efficiency which allows you to deliver impossible, fantastic offerings that competitors can't match, rather than the opposite.

Whether or not there are contexts where focusing on the fantastic at the expense of basic efficiency (i.e. turning a profit or doing something that will turn a profit before you run out of money), what's obvious is that there are many contexts where that doesn't make sense. For example, this one (which shows that companies like Netflix were the opposite of inefficient). Buyer beware.

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